Remembering Wolfgang

When I was a teenager my father took me to the French Gran Prix and I fell in love with Formula One Auto racing…..my favorite driver was Wolfgang von Trips of Team Ferrari…….I bring this up because today is the Italian Gran Prix at Monza and in 1961 my favorite driver was killed in a horrendous crash that also killed 13 spectators…..

So before the race I had a drink to remember my favorite driver…..plus the Wall Street Journal also remembered von Trips back in 2011 with the 50th anniversary of his death…..

They began the race as friends and rivals, knowing that one of them was almost certain to be crowned world champion at the end: Phil Hill of Santa Monica, Calif., and Count Wolfgang Von Trips of West Germany. They were Ferrari teammates, each a master of speed. The date: Sept. 10, 1961. The place: the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Two hours, three minutes and 13 seconds later, Hill had become America’s first Formula One champion. Von Trips was dead along with 14 spectators-killed when his Ferrari scythed into the crowd like a helicopter blade.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903285704576556971867897488

I still have fond memories of my favorite driver…..

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14 thoughts on “Remembering Wolfgang

  1. Nice tribute to the driver. Sad about the spectators too. I used to watch motor racing back then, but fell out of love with it during my teens. Round and round, and round and round…:)
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I liked the driver from Argentina who drove in the fifties. He was world champion a few times. I remember reading about the crash you mentioned. I thought von Trips was reckless and was never a fan.
    I went to a few sports car races in the sixties. The Confederate Grand Price in Huntsville, Alabama where I was was a flag man, standing by the side of the track with no barriers between me and the cars.
    Had a Press/pit pass to the 24 hour of Daytona race in 1968 and got to walk among the owners and drivers. Liked those cars..

  3. Phil Hill was one of my favorites. Enjoyed watching him in hill climbs wherein he demolished Robert “Bob” Bondurant in his Corvette with his Porsche.

      1. Never saw him race, but boy, did Graham Hill ever look like a racing driver!….or a WW1 pilot.

  4. Going by memory here….and I haven’t seen it in decades….But wasn’t a semi-fictionalized version of this fatal Ferrari accident at Monza a key point in the James Garner 1966 racing classic, Grand Prix?

    I wish they still used the old banked corner of the Monza track. Separates the men from the boys! Actually, I wish I could see those super-cool old cars race again too. You had to have a pretty big pair just to get into one of those. I don’t think any of today’s drivers could even brave the bugs-to-the-face you’d get in one lap.

    For obvious reasons, my favourite Formula One driver was Gilles Villeneuve. He also died in an airborne crash in a Ferrari.

    Sadly Kimi couldn’t hold on today, but still a good race to watch.

      1. Yeah, I’d like to see that Hamilton baby run a race in one of those 60’s mobiles. Toto would have to come to the pits and change his diapers after every lap. And he probably does wear diapers. I saw him drinking an “energy drink” right before yesterday’s race. (Caffeine is the devil’s tool!)

        I want to know how the hell Hamilton stayed on the track when he & Vettel collided. He was on the outside, but didn’t even get knocked offline! Did he get the laws of physics temporarily suspended??? Is Eichmann’s ghost still on the Mercedes payroll…working his dark arts from the bowels of hell?

  5. Thank you for remembering Chuq. I love to watch the older races but nowadays this is more remote control and money i can understand. Sure, its better for the lives of the driver and the spectators, but its like playing with toys. Michael

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